Shortly after Danny Ainge made a trade to send Brandon Wright to the Suns, he’s reportedly not done for today as it seems like Jeff Green is next according to Yahoo! Sports. Voice of the Celtics Sean Grande made note that Jeff Green had left the floor, likely to avoid injury before a deal and to be told he’s gone:
The rumored deal sends Green to the Memphis Grizzlies, a much better situation for Green. The 25-10 Grizzlies are first in their division. Green is averaging 33 minutes and just under 18 points per game for the Celtics in 33 total games this season.
The Celtics would get Tayshaun Prince, who will be a free agent at the end of this season. Prince makes just $7.71 million this season while Green makes $9.2 million this season and is under contract for next season. Generally in the NBA, the contracts need to match salary, but exceptions can be made for teams under the salary cap, in the form of trade exceptions, or with another player that matches the money.
Prince has averaged a career-low 24 minutes and just 7.4 points per game. The big draw is the deal also comes with a first round pick according to Adrian Wojnarowski (yes, another one) and Prince is an expiring deal, meaning Ainge will have more money to spend this offseason on free agents.
This deal is incredible and for Celtics fans that are all mad on my timeline let me explain something. Don’t get attached to any player on this roster except Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger. The Celtics are going no where and Jeff Green, though talented, has consistently under-performed to his expectations when being swapped for Kendrick Perkins. He isn’t a good enough scorer and he is overpaid. Let it be someone else’s problem.
The only hold up is Jeff Green’s player option for next season, which may hinder a deal if he refuses to resign in Memphis. The Grizzlies are going to want assurance that he’ll stay if they are going to give up a first round pick.
Jeff Green has had an amazing story and connected with Boston Celtic fans, but the deal is good. It may take time to see what the pick is eventually flipped into, but the team came into the year with a high payroll and no chance at winning anything in the near future.
The Celtics are headed for another lottery pick this season with or without Jeff Green and acquiring another draft pick and getting some money off the books is the best thing long term. Same deal with Rondo. The deal gives the Celtics more than I could have imagined and I have the feeling Ainge is just getting warmed up.